Presented on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 in the Barn at Quarry Farm. Mark Twain's interviews, all dated between 1871 and 1910 and recently collected, shed new light on his views on war and military imperialism, on race and racism, and on his theories about humor. More specifically, in his interviews he was outspoken in his opposition to the war in the Philippines and military aggression; he expressed views on the subject of race consistent with those of a 19th-century progressive; and he offered his fullest exposition of his theories of humor.
Gary F. Scharnhorst, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at the University of New Mexico, is the author or editor of more than forty books, including Mark Twain: The Complete Interviews, Mark Twain in His Own Time, and Mark Twain on Potholes and Politics: Letters to the Editor. He is also the editor of the journal American Literary Realism and the editor in alternating years of the research annual American Literary Scholarship. He is currently at work on a multivolume biography of Twain.